Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick said he’s continued to stay in shape and is dedicated to a return to the NFL, saying he would stand during the national anthem if given a chance to play, CBS reported on Sunday.
Kaepernick has been living in New York and working out privately in New Jersey with the hope of signing with a team this season, the network reported. He spoke off camera with the network and said he will go anywhere to work out with an NFL team and just wants to be judged as a football player. His agent has reported reached out to all 32 teams across the league to discuss his availability.
“His sole focus right now is on being a quarterback,” CBS correspondent Jason La Canfora said. “He’s just looking for an opportunity.”
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) October 8, 2017
The six-year NFL veteran, who led San Francisco to Super Bowl XLVII before the league caught up to his running-and-passing style, opted out of his contract with the San Francisco in March but has remained unsigned, having garnered little interest from teams around the league. A number of NFL players, including the Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, believe he is being blackballed by NFL teams for his political protest last season.
Sherman told ESPN First Take that Kaepernick’s remaining unsigned has little to do with the quality of his play and everything to do with his national anthem protest of last year. “It has nothing to do with football. You can see that,” Sherman said.
Asked why Kaepernick had not yet been picked up by a new team, Sherman said: “It’s difficult to see because he’s played at such a high level, and you see guys, quarterbacks, who have never played at a high level being signed by teams. So it’s difficult to understand.”
Kaepernick completed 59.2% of his passes, averaged 6.8 yards per attempt and threw 16 touchdowns with four interceptions in 12 games for the 49ers last season. But his refusal to stand for the national anthem in protest at police brutality and racial injustice became the NFL’s biggest storyline of last season.